NYC truly has some of the best museums and art galleries in the world. From that iconic spiral staircase at the Guggenheim to the kaleidoscope of contemporary art in the MoMA’s sculpture garden – it’s an art lovers dream. To help you figure out which one is for you, here are the stand out museum memberships in NYC that are actually worth getting.
The Membership with Evening Hours ($200) at The Met is coveted by those who love exploring – day and night. A grandee amongst NYC’s museums, the Met is the largest museum in the country and second most visited on the planet. The Met’s three landmark sites – The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters – house a collection traversing 5,000 years of world culture.
Here, Egyptian Art and a collection of Henri Matisse can be seen alongside MetCollects that celebrates the work of emerging artists. People who join can pair up can make a night out of it at The Met After Hours for special collection viewings. Or sneak in early to view select exhibitions before the Museum opens. If moonlighting at the gallery day and night takes its toll, it’s possible to refuel with a light bite or a glass of wine at the members-only Balcony Lounge.
Core benefits include free admission for you, two guests and children under 18 on every visit. Along with 10% off at The Met Store and a Quarterly Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin print subscription.
The DUAL membership ($140) at the Whitney Museum is coveted by friends that share a love of culture. The Whitney exhibits twentieth-century and contemporary American art in an imposing building designed by architect Renzo Piano. Though the curation focuses on living artists, there are sweeping retrospectives for artists like Andy Warhol.
The Celebratory Member Nights throughout the year and Preview Days for major exhibitions are perfect for mate dates. Those weekend warriors can beat the crowds with early admission on select Saturday and Sunday mornings. Then have a catch up over a coffee with 10% off at the Whitney Studio Cafe. Once you’ve worn out that unlimited free admission with your member card you can explore the local area through the Neighborhood Discount Program with deals at shops and spas.
Core benefits include 50% off general admission tickets for your guests and up to 20% at the Museum Shop. As well as free admission to top modern and contemporary art galleries around the world including the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Global membership ($75) at the Guggenheim is coveted by people that love iconic museums. The museum’s distinctive exterior and interior of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building are legendary. From the paintings of Hilma af Klint to the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe and beyond, its exhibitions are ever-evolving. Along with collections members can experience performances, film screenings and lectures about contemporary art. The membership also offers a passport for free admission to one of the Guggenheim’s global museums in Bilbao or Venice. At the NYC museum, members also get 10% savings at the upscale The Wright restaurant or lower-key Cafe 3. Make sure to make the most of it all when working your way down the spiral staircase.
Core benefits include free admission to all Guggenheim museums with half-priced guest admission. In addition to discounted members tickets for all museum programs, including artists’ talks, and live events.
The Individual membership ($80) at MCNY is coveted by people that love NYC. If you love NYC, you’ll love becoming a member of the Museum of the City of New York. The city’s past present and future are celebrated at the museum founded in 1923 by Scottish-born writer Henry Collins Brown. A considerable collection of one-of-a-kind objects have been accumulated over the decades including miniature work by Marcel Duchamp. Today, the collection spans photographs, theatrical memorabilia, costumes and more. With unlimited admission for one discover New York’s rich bicycling heritage or early punk scene photographed by Roberta Bayley. Be the first in line with advanced notice of Public Program ticket sales. Along with curator-led tours and discounts on book talks and screenings.
Core benefits include invitations to Member Evening Hours for exclusive after-hours access to popular exhibitions. Plus a 20% discount in the Museum Shop for your museum mementos.
Take your love of NYC one step further. Get to know the best neighborhoods in New York like a local with a stay in short term apartment like a Blueground. You’ll have the flexibility to move between rentals in the city’s most iconic areas from the East Village to the Lower East Side.
The family membership ($150) at the American Museum of Natural History is coveted by young families that love the natural world. The museum is a world of its own, with 45 permanent exhibit halls with free admission as a member. Additional locations include the Planetarium Space Show, an IMAX theatre and The Butterfly Conservatory. Why not try a themed tour to navigate your way through the museum? Choose from Earth and Space Tour, Dinosaur Tour, or the infamous Night at the Museum Tour inspired by the namesake of the movie. There are also member discounts on selected science and nature educational programs, too. Continue your exploring outside the museum nearby at Central Park.
Core benefits include the use of 12 free tickets per year for 2D and 3D giant-screen movies. Plus the Hayden Planetarium Space Show and The Butterfly Conservatory. Members also get a 15% discount on Museum restaurant purchases.